DRZ 400 preparation for the Trans America Trail

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by One Less Harley, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    I'd carry them instead, but if you zip tie, cover the ends with plastic so no shit gets in there.
    #21
  2. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    Checking out the rear swing arm bearings. It took a while and a BFH to remove the swing arm pivot pin. One shock link bearing was frozen, swing arm bearings rusty, pivot link two of three rusty. Going ahead a replacing the swing arm bearings and shock bearings. Just have to wait on the parts.

    [​IMG]


    Swapped out the race Tech 5.4 kg spring for a spare RG3 5.7 kg spring. Did this since the camping gear and stuff is too much for the 5.4 kg spring. Easy to swap the spring.

    Here's the Race Tech 5.4

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    less than 1 minute later, the 5.7 RG3 spring.

    [​IMG]

    Bare with me with this prep work, still planning on leaving early to mid June.
    #22
  3. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    I'm not going to zip tie them in place. Not that big of a deal to pull the tank and route them. They'll be buried in the saddle bags.

    just got a Wolfman Rollie tank bag, really nice little bag. Their saddle bags are well made too.
    #23
  4. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    The zip tie idea is good in theory, but unless i'm hare scrammblin', I don't need to be fast on the swap. Bummed you aren't taken the G/S, but I understand where you're coming from.
    #24
  5. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    It took a lot to get me NOT TO ride the G/S!!! I was really wanting to, but after thinking about it for quite a while the DRZ will be the better choice. It is more dirt oriented than the G/S, the frame will take more of a pounding instead of me. It should make up for my lack of ability, the G/S would only amplify that.....you've seen 1st hand my ability.....:rofl


    If I bust up a bike the DRZ is cheaper to fix and no big deal. The G/S parts, even used are higher.

    You're still going to follow my thread though......aren't ya???
    #25
  6. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

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    I was seriously tempted to try the TAT on a V-Strom until I read Questor's RR and saw how nasty the deep sand gets UTAH during a rainstorm... might spend two weeks waiting to cross a wash... Lighter is more fun, faster and easier! :D :freaky subscribed! :lurk (turn around time was my reason too... but now I have options! Orange Kool-Aid Rocks!) :rofl
    #26
  7. dhillr

    dhillr Long timer

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    :lol3 You came to the exact same descision that I did when I started planning for the TAT. Enjoy the dirt heading West....that's the focus of the trip.

    Enjoyed the writeup so far.....Looking forward to the reading the rest. :clap

    #27
  8. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    MY physical condition is off, haven't been doing typical bike ridding in the last two years, some but not like I used to. Knee surgery 2 years ago got me out of sorts. So, the bicycle has been getting more use once again, not that I was off the thing completely (I'd have to be crippled for that), it's just my aerobic capacity is way down. Stamina and strength down also. Six weeks to two months on the bike will get me back to where I need to be. Not at my former level by any means!!! I need the conditioning especially for hotter temperatures.
    #28
  9. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    :clap:clap Very wise decision on the change of bike. Heck, I had problems with a DR350SE on some of the TAT in the rain. Much less being on my KLR or R11GS which would of turned me around as I was solo.
    Course, I wonder how much the trail has changed since '97 or 8.
    Take your time, expect the unexpected, don't drive faster than you can see to stop. I almost got ate by a truck over a hill that had a stop sign on the down side. Maybe 20 feet from seeing the stop sign till passed it. :eek1
    Have fun. :clap:clap:clap
    #29
  10. sailwa66

    sailwa66 Captain Cheap A**

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    :clap

    Good luck on the ride!
    #30
  11. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    great thread
    can't wait for the ride report
    enjoy every miles... glad it's all beginning to come together
    the very best to you
    #31
  12. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    sailway66, I like that cat in you avatar!! Looks like it has wings, I sail a Hobie 17!!
    #32
  13. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    Concerns of the day...Yeah just thinking about the TAT, just like an 18 yr old thinks about.........well you know what I'm saying.

    Gearing concerns- Running a 15-44t currently, thought about keeping it that way, except going to a steel 44t on the rear. Talked to a friend today who is a practical off road guy, not to extreme and used to race. He thought a 38t rear would work out fine, even off road. Got me really thinking about it.A definite plus will be on the road, less vibrations from the motor (good for the return trip), improved gas mileage (road). Considering that my ridding style isn't aggressive this might be a good option.
    Found 38t and 39t rear steel sprocket from Wheeling Cycle today.


    Another concern- Tires, currently front Pirelli MT21 and rear Dunlop 606, half used up. So they won't last the trip. Two choices lug two new tires along to swap out on the road or switch out hear at home?

    I'm leaning towards bringing a new set with me and changing out in NM, as I don't know if a set of new tires will make it 7,000 miles.

    Two tire choices- TCK 80's good knobbies and grip but mileage at about 5,000 miles.

    Heidenua K60's - not sure what to expect for miles, but better than the TCK 80's, but less aggressive pattern. I think the K60's would make the complete trip based on what my G/S has shown with these tires.

    Need to figure out how to mount the Moose roll chart holder, as the bars don't have a cross brace. I'd prefer to keep it simple w/o all the stalks like the Ram mounts. Any suggestion??
    #33
  14. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    I DIDN'T take my 990 KTM on the TAT ( took my 525 KTM) because I realized that if I sunk the rear wheel in sand or mud it would be an ENORMOUS chore to get it unstuck. With a smaller bike I can just grab the bike and lift it. DRZ is a better choice the the GS IMHO.
    I started with a kenda 760 rear tire. It was completely used up in 1400 miles. Both of my riding buddies used dunlop 606s. We did the western TAT, about 2500 miles, and they both had lots of tread left. 606 or a Maxxis IT would be my tire choice. Maxxis get better traction then the 606 but the 606 last longer and is more than acceptable.
    I think that you are making a mistake with your gearing (39 tooth rear). Once you are set up you need to find a long (1 or 2 miles) section of DEEP sand , like a river bottom, and see how it works. It is easy to burn up a clutch with too tall gearing. We all used the cheap ( $15) steel sprockets from rocky mountain. They went the distance with hardly any noticeable wear.
    #34
  15. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    Hum, I don't have much experience in sand yet. I can always take the 39t (chain length might be a problem) for the return trip, it's flat and doesn't take much room. Already have a 44t steel.
    #35
  16. sailwa66

    sailwa66 Captain Cheap A**

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    Actually, it's a Skiff, like an International 14, but a little bigger... less like sailing, and more like flying. Beg/borrow/steal a ride if you can, it's awesome in 20-25! The 17's a great sport cat; even augered one while in the sling on a crazy reach once... that left a mark. :bluduh
    #36
  17. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    I think you would be much happier with the 44 tooth sprocket on the TAT. Take the 39 tooth and a chain breaker along for the trip home.
    #37
  18. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    I may be ridding w/ someone else for about 10 days on the TAT. The rest of the time will probably be solo, of course I might run into others and ride together for a while. Since I'm paranoid about potential problems, be that from bike breaking down or me (potential debilitating crash). I can try my best to eliminate those problems, but things do happen. Hence all the prep work to the bike and I recently found a Spot Personal tracker on Clearance at Camping World, for the ridiculously low price of $34!!!! It was the last one!!! It's a little larger than the Spot 2 and doesn't have some other features that I don't care about anyway.

    [​IMG]

    ....and for cold high elevation passes heated grips from Happy Trails. Thinner gloves can be used w/ heated grips, dexterity suffers w/ insulated ones. Plus one less pair of gloves.

    ...and to neaten up the battery connections a fuse block from Eastern Beaver. Chose this over the Centech mainly because of a cover for the fuses the Centech is open.

    [​IMG]

    The hard part on the fuse block will be finding a location for it. There's not much room on a DRZ. I've got three extra pairs of wire on the battery right now, and it already looks like a bird's nest.

    Fuse block for- 5 accessories-GPS, Heated Grips, Jacket liner, Eddie's Free Power Mod, extra plug (trickle charger/ cell phone/inverter/air compressor).

    So stay tuned for wiring fun!!!
    #38
  19. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    Ok, I'll bore you guys with some picts of previous mods, can't update any work being done right now as the parts haven't arrived!!!

    Highway Dirtbikes, mirrors, hand guards and top clamp. These things while a little costly are the CAT'S MEOW!!! Love the folding mirrors. Also put a switch on the top clamp to turn off the low beam. DRZ's aren't known for killer charging systems!! Zeta turn signals mounted in guards and a relocated ignition switch. Using the handle bar risers caused the speedo to be partially blocked by the top clamp, so it was relocated up and more to the center line of the bike, by welding on some plate steel and spacers.

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    Then there is the kick starter- not stock to a 400S

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    Tool tube and wolfman luggage mount reinforcements-

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    Rear brace acts as a bonus grab rail-

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    Here's one welded on tab to the main frame, just had to be careful not to block the body side panel bolts-

    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. Footprint

    Footprint Rat race Dreamer

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    :nod:lurk
    #40